According to eMarketer, Internet users in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) have a strong appetite for digital online video. Research from Ipsos Connect indicates that at least half of respondents in each country included in the survey said they watched movies online.
In Qatar, Internet users led the pack in terms of digital online movie viewing. Three-quarters of respondents there had performed that activity in the 12 months leading up to its December 2015 polling. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) came in second place (71%), followed by Egypt (68%).
For digital TV viewing, the UAE took the top spot. Nearly half (48%) of Internet users there said they had watched TV programs online during the survey period. Lebanon and Qatar were not far behind, however, at 47% each.
Joud Nawar, senior research manager at Ipsos MENA, said the market for digital video in the Middle East and Africa is likely to grow further this year.
"2016 is set to be a battleground in MENA for digital video platforms," Nawar said. "Internet users there are showing interest in subscribing to online video services, and most users are willing to pay for content."
Ipsos' research indicated that the majority of digital video viewers in the region were prepared to pay for some type of digital video as of December 2015. Overall, respondents said they were most likely to pay for sports, documentaries or international programming. Interestingly, they were not as willing to pay for Arabic-language video content.